The Chicago Cubs have parted ways with multiple key contributors from their 2016 World Series-winning run over the past year, including Jason Heyward.
Heyward’s run with the Cubs came to a close in November after the team released him. Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer noted in August that the one-time All-Star would not return to the team for the 2023 season. This decision came amid Seiya Suzuki’s promising rookie campaign, as the slugger ended up leading the team in starts out in right field with 104.
Speaking to USA Today Sports, Heyward took some time to look back on his departure from the Cubs.
“I don’t want to say it was a tough way to end it,” Heyward said. “The only tough thing for me was not trying to win every day. Jed [Hoyer] was handed the keys of having the tough task of dismantling and starting over.
“We had open conversations. There was mutual respect. I think if I told them I was done playing baseball, then I think they would have let me go and be with my family. That was it. It’s part of the game.”
Heyward featured in a mere 48 games with the Cubs last season, as a nagging knee injury sidelined him for much of the year.
It did not take long for Heyward to find a new home in the majors. He signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers in December, and he wound up making their Opening Day roster. He has recorded a .246 batting average and four home runs in 27 games played with the Dodgers so far this year.